The Daley Question
Hankering for one of those famous Dressel's cakes
Here's a recipe developed for the home baker
Dressel's cake (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune; styling by Lisa Schumacher)
—Donna Heimbecker, Lombard, Ill.
A: At long last, there is a recipe to share for Dressel's legendary chocolate fudge whipped cream cake. Monica Kass Rogers, the Evanston-based food writer, has spent many months and made many versions of the recipe to get as close as possible the cake you remember. I, myself, never tasted a Dressel's cake but the adaptation we made in the test kitchen was extraordinary. It was so delicious one of the more disciplined editors, who rarely eats more than a few bites of cake, asked for a second slice.
Rogers notes on her website that the Dressel's cake was "a production cake—no home baker can perfectly emulate Dressel's techniques." But she worked with members of the Dressel family to come up with a version for the home cook.
Rogers has posted her recipe for Dressel's chocolate fudge whipped cream cake on her Web site, Lost Recipes Found (lostrecipesfound.com). Additionally, she is offering on the Web site a video of how to make the cake featuring Heidi Hedeker, bakery and pastry chef instructor at Chicago's Kendall College, and a mini-documentary about Dressel's bakery, featuring members of the family. Check Rogers' Web site regularly for more lost recipes found.
Dressel's chocolate fudge whipped cream cake
Prep: 2 hours Cook: 35-40 minutes Makes: 12-16 servings
Rogers prefers to use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder in the cake and heavy cream from Kilgus Farmstead, a Fairbury, Ill.-based dairy, for the whipped cream. The whipped cream calls for agar agar to stabilize it. You can use a little gelatin, or skip it.
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour